AVClub: Admit it, Once-ers: All this jumping back and forth between timelines is getting a little confusing. The costumes help a little, but are we in Camelot or are we in Storybrooke, and who knows what and how do they know it?
Take, for instance, poor Rumplestiltskin. He’s spent the past four episodes languishing on a daybed in some sort of magical coma. Then Emma wakes him up and, since she says he’s a blank canvas, she’s trying to make him a hero. But how can he be a blank canvas if he still remembers everything he’s done in life, even if he doesn’t have dark powers anymore? In theory, all the sadness he’s caused could help him become a more righteous do-gooder, but couldn’t it also just make him crack? That’s kind of what we’re seeing already, especially in the preview for next week’s show, but it’s honestly more sad that bravery inspiring. I never bought Rumple as a coward, and Robert Carlyle and Emilie De Ravin don’t bring the same spark to Rumple and Belle that all the other canon pairs have, so I have to admit this episode—and his whole new storyline, really—have left me a bit cold.